A landlord must place a tenant’s deposit in a government-backed Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS), if let as an assured shorthold tenancy after 6 April 2007. This scheme was designed to protect both landlords and tenants from unfair decisions relating to the deposit.
The scheme is designed to aid any disputes, but also to try to avoid them where possible. Under the governance of the scheme, the tenants must leave a property in the same condition in which they were given it, allowing for the passage of time and natural expected fair wear and tear. In order to decide this, an accurate and up-to-date independent inventory must be in place.
Any cases that cannot be resolved between the landlord and tenant will be passed to the arbitrator of the scheme who will make the final decision. For this process, they expect an unbiased independent inventory to be in place.